Tag archives: Ashleigh Brilliant

Running Wild
By Ashleigh Brilliant   |   June 6, 2023

To most of us, Civilization is where it’s at and – as a general rule – any alternative is less preferable. The alternatives can be categorized either favorably under the heading of “Nature,” or unfavorable ones beneath the label of “Wilderness” – or “Desert.” From childhood I have known that the ancient Hebrews, after escaping […]

My Business Career
By Ashleigh Brilliant   |   May 30, 2023

Two women greatly affected my life in the world of business: my mother and my wife. From age five to seven, I lived in my mother’s hometown of Toronto, Canada. There, her father and several other of my relatives were in what was called the “second-hand” business. Their merchandise was mostly used goods. They had […]

Big Moves
By Ashleigh Brilliant   |   May 23, 2023

Crossing oceans has been a feature of my family background. My mother’s parents, a poor English couple, started the trend by moving from London to Toronto, where my mother was born (one of five) and grew up as Amelia Adler (quite a good-looking girl, if the photos are any indication). Ocean travel was then still […]

Unfree Speech
By Ashleigh Brilliant   |   May 16, 2023

Freedom of Speech – and of the Press – are in the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. But of course, they are not defined in detail. That has been a task for the following two centuries – and the debating goes on. A major complication has been the development of new media, which are […]

Getting Together
By Ashleigh Brilliant   |   May 9, 2023

Our lives are largely determined by encounters, whether in arranged meetings, or by the whims of chance. I wrote this little poem many years ago, when I was still unhappily single: All my life I’ll cherishSo much I can’t forget –The things that didn’t happen,And the girls I never met. There have, of course, been […]

Been There Done That
By Ashleigh Brilliant   |   May 2, 2023

One of the many wise old sayings which my father was fond of quoting was itself about age and wisdom, and indeed reeks of both of them. It says:  Experience keeps a dear school – but fools will learn in no other. And what exactly does keeping a dear school mean? Here, “dear” means the […]

Size and Sighs
By Ashleigh Brilliant   |   April 25, 2023

How big is it? Sometimes it doesn’t matter. Sometimes it matters a lot more than it should. I’m sorry to say that in most cases, bigger means better. That’s why bigger houses, cars, and diamonds generally cost more. But there has lately been a trend in the opposite direction. Now that so many devices are […]

Body Talk
By Ashleigh Brilliant   |   April 18, 2023

One piece of medical advice we’re often given is to “listen to your body.” It is also one of the most confusing and misleading. My body does not know who I am or where I live. It was designed by a proverbial “blind watchmaker” named Evolution over the course of untold eons. My body has […]

By Ashleigh Brilliant   |   April 11, 2023

One way to learn about people is to find out what they are most proud of. If it’s not their own achievements, it will sometimes be those of their children or grandchildren. And just what counts as an “achievement?” For better or worse, it is often a matter of excelling over others, in which case, […]

Eaters and Eaten
By Ashleigh Brilliant   |   April 4, 2023

One of the ways we celebrate important occasions is by eating. Festivals, whether religious or secular, are times for joyful observance of something worth remembering, and tend to be annual, since the regular solar cycle makes a good periodic reminder.  I grew up in a Jewish family, but also in a Christian community, and each […]

Ups and Downs
By Ashleigh Brilliant   |   March 28, 2023

In our universe, things that are up are generally positive, and the reverse is true of the downs. Heaven is somewhere above, together with everything that’s at the top of the charts (except your temperature and blood pressure). But I’m sorry to say that “our universe” reaches no farther than our little planet and its […]

By Ashleigh Brilliant   |   March 21, 2023

Judging from the number of words in our language containing “press” in some form (at least 545), it appears that we’re all, very often, experiencing some form of pressure, from the air pressure in our tires to the blood being pressed through our circulatory systems. To start at the bottom, there’s “Depression,” which nearly always […]

By Ashleigh Brilliant   |   March 14, 2023

Some people are said to be born leaders. But we don’t hear so much about born followers. However, born or not, the followers are the vast majority of any population, and they need good leaders – although, in a time of crisis, a leader may emerge who will lead everybody in the wrong direction. The […]

Give It to Me Straight
By Ashleigh Brilliant   |   March 7, 2023

As most of us learned in school, the shortest distance between any two points is a straight line. And a point is something which has a location but has no dimensions. Many of us also learned that light travels in straight lines. Amazing as it seems (to me, anyway) light has a certain speed, which […]

By Ashleigh Brilliant   |   February 28, 2023

As we all know only too well, nothing lasts forever, especially the good things. I somehow find this illustrated by a supposedly true anecdote, about W.S. Gilbert, of “Gilbert and Sullivan.” He is said to have been at a concert, seated next to a gushing woman, of the kind he hated. One of the names […]

Concerning Learning
By Ashleigh Brilliant   |   February 21, 2023

Most of us are familiar with the proverbs telling us that we live and learn, and that we’re never too old to learn. Nevertheless, that particular activity is primarily associated with the young, and indeed it begins with the very young, perhaps going back to the moment of birth, if not before. In those early […]

All Hands
By Ashleigh Brilliant   |   February 14, 2023

Most of us have two of them. We once had four, but Evolution specified that we would do better with just two and relegated the others to transportation, making a big distinction between hands and feet. These upper extremities are fringed with independently movable digits called fingers, but one, called a “thumb” on each hand […]

How To Be a Pedestrian
By Ashleigh Brilliant   |   February 7, 2023

Until recently, the only way for most people to get to most places was on foot. Horses were too expensive, and trains, planes, and cars didn’t yet exist. “Shanks’ Pony” was a jocular way of referring to walking. But with the development of modern street-traffic, among the automobiles, trucks, buses, motorcycles, and regular bicycles, there […]

By Ashleigh Brilliant   |   January 31, 2023

In the days when I was leading a local crusade to ban the noisiest kind of so-called leaf-blowers (a cause which, at least here in California, has only recently found fruition in actions by the State), I had an unfortunate run-in with a gardener, who was using one of these devices on the property next […]

By Ashleigh Brilliant   |   January 24, 2023

Our society is obsessed with popularity contests of various kinds. There are competitions for being the most beautiful, making the most money, and having a best-selling product. But the most prevalent type of such contention is called an “election,” which, in effect, means being chosen by the most people, usually for an office or position […]